KICTANet Tackles Digital Rights at #DRIF24: Open Internet, Inclusion, and Countering Disinformation

KICTANet is participating in Paradigm Initiative’s 2024 Digital Rights and Inclusion Forum (DRIF) in Accra, Ghana.

DRIF is an essential platform for shaping conversations on African digital policy, debating policy directions, and forming partnerships for action.

This year’s 11th edition is “Fostering Rights and Inclusion in the Digital Age”. The forum’s sub-themes will focus on Trust and Accountability, Data Protection, Privacy and Surveillance, Artificial Intelligence and Emerging Technologies, Digital Inclusion, and Marginalised Groups.

KICTANet will be participating in five sessions during the three-day forum. They include:

Tuesday, April 23rd 

One, Models of the Open Internet: Lessons From Four African Countries (11:10 a.m.–12:40 p.m.). This session will explore the future of the internet in Africa by examining contrasting approaches to internet governance: open vs. closed.

The session will analyse practical models from four African countries, drawing lessons for policymakers and stakeholders: Open Multistakeholder Internet Governance (Kenya); Digital Skills Development (Burundi); Open Internet Technical Infrastructure (Senegal); and Open Internet-Enabling Policy and Regulation (South Africa).

Two, Enhancing Inclusion for Persons with Disabilities in Kenyan Community Networks

(3:10 PM–4:20 PM). According to this session’s concept paper, Community networks built and managed by local communities hold immense potential for bridging the digital divide. This panel session will focus on the challenges faced by women and people with disabilities (PWDs) in accessing these networks.

The discussion will explore policy and regulatory hurdles that hinder equitable access for these marginalised groups. The session will examine strategies to empower community networks to be more inclusive by sharing best practices from Kenya, Uganda, and Ghana.

Wednesday, April 24th 

Reimagining the Web: A Collaborative Approach to Curbing Internet Fragmentation in Africa (10:00 AM – 11:00 AM).

Fragmenting standards threaten the open, free, and globally connected internet. While efforts exist to maintain an open internet, civil society voices often need to be included in standard-setting organizations where these fragmenting standards are developed.

This session aims to empower African civil society to address this challenge by raising awareness and building capacity.

Advancing a Human Rights-Based and Multi-stakeholder Approach to Internet and Digital Technology Governance (4:00 PM–5:00 PM). 

The way we govern digital technologies will profoundly impact human rights and freedoms. New laws and policies tackle worldwide issues like censorship, surveillance, and misinformation. While efforts are underway to maximise technology’s benefits and establish best practices, ensuring these developments uphold human rights and internet freedom is critical.

This session aims to engage stakeholders in the global South to discuss opportunities and challenges related to these ongoing processes.

The session will foster collaboration and explore ways to ensure that the governance of digital technologies respects human rights, centres on people, and promotes technology’s positive impact while mitigating potential harm.

Thursday, April 25th

Tackling Gendered Disinformation in the Digital Age (11:10 a.m.–12:10 p.m.).

The spread of misinformation online is a growing concern, but it takes on a particularly harmful form when it targets women and gender-non-conforming individuals. This “gendered disinformation” often relies on stereotypes and abuse to silence these voices and threaten their safety.

A 2021 study found that conversations about just 13 female politicians were bombarded with over 336,000 pieces of abusive content online. To address this issue, UNESCO and Article 19 launched the Social Media for Peace project in four countries.  This is an initiative that KICTANet is among the coalition members that aims to promote and protect freedom of expression on social media platforms in Kenya.

This session will explore the project’s findings and best practices for tackling gendered disinformation.

Dr. Grace Githaiga, CEO of KICTANet, leads the team, which includes Mr. Victor Kapiyo, Cherie Oyier, Mr. Nicodemus Nyakundi, and Ms. Florence Awino Ouma.



Neema Mujesia information

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